Which type of leaf blower is best?
For autumn leaf cleanup or springtime yard maintenance, using a leaf blower will help save you significant time and energy. Depending on yard size, fuel preference and the amount of power needed, you’ll most likely be deciding between a battery-powered cordless blower and a gas-powered backpack blower.
Both options get the job done, though cordless leaf blowers tend to be cheaper and quieter, while backpack blowers are robust and easy to carry. Our guide will help you determine which style best suits your needs.
What is a cordless leaf blower?
As the name suggests, cordless leaf blowers don’t need to be plugged into an electric outlet, making them convenient and portable. A majority of cordless leaf blowers are also battery-powered, ideal for environmentally conscious users.
You can expect to pay between $100-$200 for most battery-powered cordless blowers, with some models costing slightly more or less.
What you’ll love about cordless leaf blowers
- Quiet: Having no bulky two-stroke or four-stroke engine means much less noise.
- Low cost: You can find several cordless options that cost less than half the price of gas-powered backpack blowers.
- Low maintenance: With no complex engine, there is very little maintenance other than occasionally recharging the battery.
- No emissions: Choosing a battery-powered cordless blower eliminates harmful fumes and emissions associated with standard gas engines.
What to consider about cordless leaf blowers
- Less power: Cordless battery blowers are getting more powerful, but in general, they still offer lower airspeed and CFM ratings (cubic feet per minute).
- Limited runtime: You can only use rechargeable batteries for so long before losing their charge. It is a good idea to keep a spare battery handy.
- Heavy: Total weight is also improving, but some models can still be on the heavy side.
Top cordless leaf blowers
Featuring a 125 mph airspeed, three different speed settings and up to 70 minutes of runtime, you can get your entire lawn cleaned in a single charge.
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Best for small and mid-sized lawns, this lightweight blower uses a Lithium-Ion battery that is interchangeable with all other Black + Decker power tools.
Powerful and compact, the included attachments make it easy to conquer any task, from leaves to dust to small debris.
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What is a backpack leaf blower?
Backpack leaf blowers are overwhelmingly powered by either two-stroke or four-stroke gas engines, though battery-powered versions make their way onto the market. They perform the same essential duties as other types of leaf blowers but feature straps to provide a more comfortable fit, especially when working on larger properties.
Backpack blowers are larger and tend to be more powerful, meaning you can expect to pay anywhere from $200-$700.
What you’ll love about backpack leaf blowers
- Superior power: With higher airspeed and CFM ratings, backpack blowers can clear a more significant amount of leaves, as well as sticks and other heavier objects.
- Comfortable to use: Backpack straps, hip belts and ergonomic handles make these blowers more comfortable, especially during extended use.
- Great for large areas: For larger jobs, gas-powered backpack blowers are the way to go, seeing as you won’t have to worry about losing power halfway through.
What to consider about backpack leaf blowers
- Loud: Some backpack blowers may require hearing protection due to their significantly louder engines than cordless battery models.
- Expensive: Unless you have a large yard or work as a professional landscaper, the high price tag may not be worth it.
- Required maintenance: With more moving parts, there is a higher chance of your equipment malfunctioning. For two-stroke engines, you’ll also have to use a specialized gas and oil mixture.
Top backpack leaf blowers
The 184 mph airspeed is ideal for clearing large quantities of leaves and yard waste, while the fuel-efficient engine is quieter than other gas engines.
This two-stroke blower offers exceptional power in a lightweight and emissions-reducing design, as well as a top airspeed on our list at 216 mph.
The adjustable straps and load-reducing harness allow you to complete any job without suffering from back pain or discomfort.
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Which leaf blower should I buy?
Now that you’ve seen the pros and cons each style has to offer, which one should you get? For most homeowners with small or medium-sized yards, battery-powered cordless blowers will suffice, offering decent power for a lower price. For large plots or commercial use, backpack blowers will offer the most benefits in the long run.
Matthew Young is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.
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